2 Samuel 24:10 "David felt ashamed after he had counted the people. He said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by what I have done. Lord, I beg you to forgive me, your servant, because I have been very foolish.”
At the height of David's military career, he asks his most trusted general to take a census of all the fighting men in Israel and Judah. It was a simple count of everyone that was fighting . Nothing out of the ordinary right? Then why did Joab the top commander have such a problem with this request? Because this count was rooted in something much uglier. Chronicles 21:1 recounts this same tale and gives us the insight that the devil was tempting David into counting his men. You see, David was fell into this temptation because his perspective on who he was in the world had become skewed. Following his slew of military victories, David began to place his trust in his physical prowess. After having witnessed GOD's hand lead him through one miraculous victory after another David fell into the temptation of believing that he was the reason that he had gotten ahead.
Once again this is not a temptation that is unique to David. How often do we take stock of what we have and what we are capable of? And why do we do that? It's our way of finding a foothold in this world. We find it necessary to build up our confidence in our abilities and things we possess in order to feel certain with our future. Our work and our abilities become an idol before GOD and we worship what we can make with our hands . Perhaps we do it from a place of fear because it's much easier to hold onto these tangible items rather than relying on GOD's timeless power and wonder.
AW Tozer once said "GOD never hurries. There are not deadlines against which HE must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves". As you begin to look into the new year, perhaps you feel tempted to look at what your hands have built or feel the urgency of the world pulling you along. In those moments take a step back and give pause, like Joab. Those victories and giants you think you've slayed were never a product of your own doing. Rather they were just an expression of love and strength of a GOD of infinite generosity.